The Carolina Hurricanes playoff push returns to PNC Arena on Friday night with another tilt against a Stanley Cup hopeful in the Winnipeg Jets. The Canes enter action on Friday having earned a point in 12 of their last 14 games (11-2-1), and face a Jets team that is jockeying for the top spot in the Central Division with the Canes’ Saturday night opponent, the Nashville Predators.
Carolina hopes to have the services of Micheal Ferland available after he was forced to leave Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury and missed Thursday’s practice for “maintenance” according to Rod Brind’Amour. The Canes have stepped up their offensive production of late, tallying three goals or more in nine of their past ten games played. Three or more will likely be required against the high-powered Jets on Friday.
Below is the projected lineup for the Canes, who did not skate on Friday morning:
Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Justin Williams
Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Brock McGinn - Greg McKegg - Saku Maenalanen
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk
Calvin de Haan - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Scratches: Micheal Ferland (upper body)
The Winnipeg Jets enter Raleigh after a decisive 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. Despite being on a four-game Eastern road swing, the Jets will avoid a back-to-back, which is certainly a bonus for teams as the season grinds to a close. The Jets will hope that the ability on the road trip to add in valuable practice time will get newly acquired Kevin Hayes acclimated in a hurry. Hayes has already produced three points (one goal) in his four games with the Jets. Additionally, they will seek to get the dynamic Patrik Laine on track, as he has slipped to only 44 points on the season after notching 64 and 70 respectively in his first two NHL seasons.
Former Canes coach Paul Maurice returns to Raleigh again, but will be without Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey on his blueline. Maurice plans to employ this lineup at the outset on Friday, which includes backup Laurent Brossoit in net after he stoned the Hurricanes in October, holding them to one goal on 43 shots:
Patrik Laine - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor - Kevin Hayes - Nikolaj Ehlers
Brandon Tanev - Adam Lowry - Bryan Little
Mathieu Perreault - Andrew Copp - Jack Roslovic
Nathan Beaulieu - Jacob Trouba
Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers
Ben Chiarot - Sami Niku